pink fish

Last year, energetic and inspiring Dorothy Widmann kindly invited me to attend a wonderful event she’d organised in her home town of Cordova, Alaska. Like Scotland, Alaska is one of those places where the activities of fishing and knitting are interestingly intertwined, and Dotty’s Cordova Gansey Project provided occasion for exploring those important connections. The… Read More

hap stretcher tutorial

As you know, I photographed my Moder Dy design on a beautiful vintage hap stretcher that I borrowed from my friend Anne Eunson. In Shetland, such stretchers have been used for well over a century to block haps and shawls ready for sale, as well as for their knitters’ own domestic use. (washing and dressing… Read More

Hapisk

There are so many things I admire about talented Hélène Magnusson, but perhaps most particularly her completely joined-up approach to sheep, wool, yarn production, textile history, and contemporary knitwear design. All these elements are to the fore in the very special hap Hélène has created for our collection, a Hapisk – whose name as well… Read More

Houlland

Today’s hap is a rather special one. It is the work of Shetland designer, Donna Smith, who you may know as the patron of Shetland Wool Week, 2015, and the creator of the famous Baa-ble hat. Donna’s hap was inspired by her great auntie Emma Isbister, a wonderful knitter, who has been making Shetland haps… Read More

Lang Ayre

Today’s hap is Lang Ayre by Gudrun Johnston, who is interviewed over on Jen’s blog today. As you probably know, Gudrun was born in, and has close family ties to Shetland. She’s very well-known for her beautiful hap designs, and she was top of my list of must-ask contributors for this book! One of the… Read More

Harewood Hap

Today’s hap is a symphony in intarsia from inventive designer, Bristol Ivy. Bristol is interviewed today over on Jen’s blog, where you can read more about her creative ethos, and why you don’t need to be intimidated by intarsia. Bristol’s Harewood hap is one of the designs in this collection that made me gasp when… Read More

Moder Dy

So this is my design for The Book of Haps! You can read a wee interview with me about it over on Jen’s blog today, but I thought I should say a little more about it here. I have been wanting to make a Shetland hap for quite some time, and before I did so,… Read More

thankyou, KCG

A few weeks ago, I visited the home of the UK Knitting and Crochet Guild – a fantastic organisation that exists to support and promote the crafts of knitting and crochet. The KCG is supported entirely by charitable donation, and is staffed by a group of wonderful volunteers, who administer a growing international membership; organise… Read More

La Mode Ecossaise

I am deep in research and writing at the moment, and thought I’d keep bringing you some of my incidental finds and thoughts as I come across them. Searching through online images of French fashion magazines from the first few decades of the last century (as one does) recently, I came across several references to… Read More

J Cathcart Wason, Shetland’s knitting M.P.

It’s election time here, and while we were in Shetland, our paths crossed with those of Scotland’s first minister on her campaign trail. The other day I was in the Shetland Archives and came across a fascinating campaign-trail image from over a hundred years ago. I thought you might be interested to see it. J… Read More